Enforcing Washington ‘stay home’ order through education


"No law enforcement agencies have any desire to make any arrests or take anybody to jail for violations"

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — Law enforcement agencies are announcing their plans for enforcing Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s “stay home” order.

Inslee introduced the order Monday evening, it includes a ban on all gatherings for “social, spiritual, and recreational purposes” and requires businesses to close unless they “are essential to the healthy functioning of our community or are able to let employees work remotely from home.”

Tuesday morning, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office outlined its plan to “educate people about how to comply with orders to stay home.” In a press release, the agency said deputies are not being asked to “detain, arrest, ticket or establish checkpoints for compliance.”

Rather, deputies will remind people as appropriate of the recommendation and restrictions if they encounter citizens not complying with the order.

The sheriff’s office wrote, “No law enforcement agencies have any desire to make any arrests or take anybody to jail for violations.”

The Vancouver Police Department is also planning an education-focused approach while following “the six-foot social distancing guidelines.” Officers could also contact citizens by phone, Vancouver police wrote in a press release, noting that it is a “gross misdemeanor to willfully violate any provision of the order” and “criminal citation is a last resort measure.”

The department urged citizens to refrain from calling 9-1-1 to make non-emergency reports. If there is “an identified safety issue” related to the new order, citizens can call the 3-1-1 non-emergency number, however, VPD asked that people not call 3-1-1 just to report non-compliance in social distancing.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

The department said it has also stepped up patrols around neighborhoods to help prevent “increases of package thefts and property crimes.”

“Officers are also increasing patrols around businesses and patrolling business districts, especially around businesses that have temporarily closed due to the statewide closures,” the department wrote in a release.

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